NYTimes Travel Section:
On our return trip, we flew out of Heathrow. The flight wasn’t overbooked, so my wife and I each claimed an entire middle row of seats so we could relax and sleep.
The plane was quite old. There were big, blocky TV monitors, stationed about every 10 rows. All of the monitors were black, except the one nearest to me, which was gray. There were ashtrays in the armrests, despite the no smoking rule. I opened the ashtray in my left armrest and found a green breath mint wrapper and a cigarette butt.
About 10 minutes into the flight, I started experiencing a weird panic along with an overwhelming urge to look out of the right side of the plane. All I saw were sunny skies, not some gremlin like in that classic “Twilight Zone” episode.
After a few minutes, I settled down and tried to sleep.
As I was nodding off, there was an explosion. I looked out of the right side of the plane and saw smoke.
I was sure we were going to die. Everyone on the plane seemed to think the same thing. Even the attendants were nervous.
The captain announced we had lost the right engine after hitting a flock of geese. He also said we were perfectly safe.
I don’t think any of us believed him, but we sat quietly as we headed back to Heathrow.
The airline sent us to the V.I.P. lounge, where we waited for another plane for nearly 10 hours.
A plane finally arrived, and we were told to board with our original boarding passes and to sit in the same row and seat that we had previously occupied.
I noticed the TV monitor closest to me was gray and all the others were black. There were ashtrays in the armrests. The ashtray in my left armrest had a cigarette butt and a green breath mint wrapper.
Now I felt like a character in “The Twilight Zone.”
I called the steward and asked if this was the same plane. I was told no. But then I showed off my find: the cigarette butt and the green breath mint wrapper.
The steward finally conceded and said I had two choices. I could shut up since they had replaced the engine and we were perfectly safe. Or I could keep talking and cause a panic.
I shut up. We landed safely and some people kissed the ground. I kissed my wife.
I still like to fly. Kind of. But I’ve never quite felt the same about geese, breath mint wrappers or cigarette butts. I don’t think I ever will.
OK, you wanted a Political discussion: Here goes.
The background I believe that:
* We're HEADING into a DEPRESSION.
* It's going to be as BAD as the last one.
* According to Robert Reich (former Sec'y of Labor under Clinton): The only number that he EVER saw, defining the
depression was that the unemployment rate hovered around 25%.
* We need a new deal.
* After 58 years of NO Health Care Reform (since 1950!) it will FINALLY be coming soon...
* We've managed to WASTE a FULL generation (from Zero to thirty) with decaying social, educational, and interpersonal skills.
* Our nation is no longer DOING (producing) anything.
SO, from these few premises, I have extrapolated a great deal of items to FIX our society...
We need to make sure that a number of issues are resolved ALL at once.
If we don't do them ALL at once, its like juggling three RUNNING chain saws, but dropping one!
Here's what I came up with:
We need to do the FOLLOWING to FIX our Society:
* Create A Living Wage
* Create a National Single payer Healthcare
* Create a National 3-4 year draft (or alternate service)
* Create a Federally paid Day Care starting at six months
* Implement Tax Reform on the ULTRA Rich
* Lobbying (Political Reform)
* Infrastructure (road /bridge/Systems repairs)
* Lack of Training/futures
* Truth and Reconcilliation Commission
* A new "Manhattan" project, focusing on Energy INDEPENDENCE
See my other blog: http://sos-newdeal.blogspot.com for more details.